There is two peak periods for energy use, winter and summer. “Summer peak times generally occur May through October between the hours of 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Winter peak times are between November and April from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m.”
For all intensive purposes, power users should note the highest strains on the electric grid occur when consumers are getting ready for their day in the morning and when they get home from work during the evening. “Peak” energy hours are the time of day during which the most electricity is used – typically daytime. During peak energy hours additional power plants, “peak-hour plants”, are needed, which is typically is the most dirty and costly sources. Energy produced from these sources significantly impacts the cost of your electricity as well as generates more green-house gas emissions during the worst period possible.
Here are a few tips to “Beat the Peak”:
- Set the thermostat to 78 degrees or higher. Greater peak-shaving can occur by increasing (during the summer) or lowering (during the winter) the setting by two to three degrees during the peak time.
- Delay use of major home appliances ie. dryers, dishwashers, ovens and washing machines.
- Postpone using hot water so that the demand for the water heater is reduced during the peak times, particularly if the source of heat is an electric tankless water heater, which significantly increases demand.
Five eco-tips for the workplace:
Here are five tips to help make your work environment greener:
Reduce and reuse paper:
- print and copy double-sided
- Print drafts on unused reverse sides of paper
- e-mail your documents as attachments
- edit documents on screen rather than printing out and hand editing
If you receive a box that is still in good condition, instead of discarding of the box, save it for a future outbound shipment. Simply remove previous shipping labels and mark-out or cover any previous markings and you extended the life of the box.
Ditch the plastic styrofoam cups:
Get rid of the disposable throw-away cups- the one’s you use for coffee and water fill-ups. The one-use cups accounts for a great deal of office waste. Simply bring your own cup and provide additional washable cups for visitors.
The amount of energy wasted in the workplace accounts for over 15% of total energy usage. Items such as computers left on unattended, especially in the overnight hours. Cut your energy use by switching off your computers, copiers, printers and lights when not in use. Also, reduce your phantom energy loss be using smart power strips and/or unplugging unused devices. Remember lower energy bills also mean a better bottom line.
Turn down the heat this winter:
Your heating costs will go up by 8% each time you increase the temperature by just one degree. A 2°C increase in office temperature creates enough CO2 in a year to fill a hot air balloon. Lower the thermostat and your energy bills at the same time.